How to Host a Rust Server: Setting Up and Hosting Your Own Dedicated Server in 2024

How to Host a Rust Server: Setting Up and Hosting Your Own Dedicated Server in 2024

Rust continues to be a popular multiplayer sensation where players must gather resources and build shelters to survive in a harsh environment. If you’re looking for something more, you can enhance your experience by setting up a dedicated Rust server of your own, shaping your gameplay as you desire, and potentially fostering a new community of survivors.

This article will provide the essential steps on how to host a Rust server of your own. Whether you’re just starting out or a seasoned veteran looking for more, we’ll guide you in successfully establishing and managing your Rust server.

If you’re ready, get your starting resources ready, and let’s play some Rust!

Rust Server Prerequisites

Here’s the setup you’ll need to get a Rust game server up and running:

  • Operating system: Windows, Linux, or macOS. We recommend a Linux-based operating system for hosting any game server due to its stability and efficiency. 
  • CPU: at least a quad-core processor is required, while a six-core processor is ideal for larger servers.
  • RAM: at least 8 GB, while 16 GB is recommended for hosting a lot of players.
  • Storage: 20 GB as a minimum, but more disk space may be required as your server grows.
  • Internet connection: minimum 100 Mbps. A stable and fast connection is essential for seamless gameplay and handling multiple player connections. 

How to Host a Rust Server

Having fulfilled all the Rust server requirements, let’s dive into the Rust server setup tutorial:

1. Choose the Right Virtual Private Server

Selecting an appropriate virtual private server (VPS) is crucial for hosting a new Rust server. The VPS will be the dedicated server where your Rust game environment resides, so choosing the right hosting provider is vital.

Hostinger’s Minecraft hosting plans are an excellent choice for Rust servers, offering reliability, performance, and scalability for an enjoyable gaming experience. While they are tailored for Minecraft, these plans fully support other games, including Rust.

As one of the top VPS providers, Hostinger’s plans offer various advantages:

  • Premium hardware – Hostinger’s Minecraft VPS uses industry-standard Intel Xeon processors and SSD storage, ensuring fast and lag-free performance for Rust servers.
  • Multiple server locations – With servers in various locations, Hostinger ensures low latency, which is critical for Rust gaming experiences.
  • Instant setup – With less than 5 minutes of onboarding, your VPS can be up and running in no time.
  • Customization and control – Full root access to install Rust server modding and plugins provides extensive customization and control over your Rust server environment.
  • Robust AI assistant – Hostinger’s VPS includes an AI assistant feature that offers guided assistance, scripts, and commands customized to your needs.
  • Affordable and scalable plans – Starting at just $6.99/month, Hostinger’s Minecraft VPS plans are scalable to meet the growing needs of your Rust server.

2. Set Up Your VPS

Hosting a Rust server on a Linux VPS is simple with Hostinger. Here’s how to get started with our VPS for Rust:

  1. Choose a Minecraft hosting plan based on your server size and player count. Complete the registration and checkout process.
  2. Once done, access your VPS dashboard. Here, you will find the option to set up your new VPS plan. Click on Setup to proceed.
  3. During setup, you’ll be prompted to choose your server name, set a secure password, and select a data center location nearest to most of your players.
  4. After setup, verify that your VPS is running by accessing the VPS information tab within the VPS dashboard. If it’s offline, click Start to initiate it.
Ensuring the VPS status is running in the VPS dashboard of hPanel
  1. Navigate to the SSH access tab to find the details needed to access your server.
Finding SSH credentials in the SSH access tab of hPanel's VPS dashboard
  1. Open a server connection window through the command line or an SSH client like PuTTY.
  2. Once connected, update your Linux packages to ensure your server is up-to-date. This secures your server and improves its performance. Execute the following Linux command:
sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

3. Install the Rust Server

With your VPS ready, the next step is installing the Rust dedicated server. Follow the instructions below:

  1. Install SteamCMD, the command-line version of the Steam client for installing and updating server files for games like Rust. Run:
sudo apt install steamcmd
  1. Install necessary dependencies such as screen or tmux to run server processes in the background. Use the command:
sudo apt-get install screen tmux
  1. Create a specific directory for your Rust server files by executing the command below:
mkdir rust_server
  1. Within the desired server folder, use SteamCMD to download the server files with the command:
steamcmd +login anonymous +force_install_dir ./rust_server +app_update 258550 +quit

This command logs you into SteamCMD, defines a dedicated Rust server folder, and downloads the necessary server files. The number 258550 is the Steam app ID for Rust.

After the installation, the rust_server directory will be the file location for all Rust server files. Navigate to this Rust server folder whenever you need to access your files.

4. Modify Server Settings

After successfully installing the Rust server, you can configure the game server to match your preferences and requirements. To start, navigate to your Rust installation directory using the command:

cd rust_server

The primary configuration file within this folder is typically named server.cfg. Open it using the nano text editor:

nano server.cfg

This file contains various settings you can modify, such as:

Server Name and Description

Assign a unique name to your server using the line:

server.hostname "Your Server Name"

To add a server description that outlines your server’s theme or rules, include the following:

server.description "Your Server Description"

Map Type

Choose the type of map you want to use by modifying the line:

server.level "Procedural Map"

Several map types you can use include:

  • Procedural Map – randomly generated landscapes, offering a unique experience in every game.
  • Barren – less detailed for better performance, focusing on simpler terrain.
  • Hapis Island – a fixed layout with consistent features for predictable gameplay.
  • Savas Island – a smaller, more combat-focused map, ideal for quicker and more intense matches.
  • Custom Maps – created by the community for modified servers, these maps offer varied and unique designs.

Server Port

Ensure the server port is correctly set for players to connect by including:

server.port 28015

The default port for Rust game traffic is 28015. For the RCON (Remote Console) protocol, it is 28016.

Additionally, port forwarding on your network is crucial to allow external connections to your server, such as from a local network.

For Rust, this typically involves configuring your router to forward TCP port 28015, ensuring players can connect to your server from outside your network.

Player Slots

Define the maximum number of players that can join your server with:

server.maxplayers 50

Game Mode

Set the game mode according to your preference using:

server.pve true

Here are several game mode options to use:

  • PvE (Player vs. Environment) – set to true for a survival-focused mode with limited or no player combat.
  • PvP (Player vs. Player) – set to false for traditional Rust gameplay emphasizing player conflict and strategy.
  • Softcore – set to [appropriate command], which reduces death penalties and is suitable for a less intense experience.
  • Hardcore – set to [appropriate command], increasing difficulty and survival challenges for experienced players.

Replace [appropriate command] with the actual commands for the Softcore and Hardcore modes once they are confirmed. These commands can vary and might need specific Rust server configuration to implement.

Other Advanced Settings

Adjust crafting speeds with:

crafting.instant true

Set day and night cycles with:

env.daylength 45

Determine the rate at which players gather resources with:

gather.rate dispenser 2

Configure what loot appears in the game using various loot configuration lines.

After making changes, press CTRL + X → Y to save, then Enter to exit the editor.

Then, restart your server for the changes to take effect by accessing Hostinger’s VPS dashboard and clicking Reboot VPS.

Rebooting VPS in the VPS dashboard of hPanel

This method is used because Rust doesn’t provide a dedicated restart command within the command prompt.

5. Launch the Rust Server

Now that your own Rust server is configured, it’s time to launch it and explore the gameplay you’ve crafted. Ensure you are in your server directory, then start the Rust server with the following command:

./RustDedicated -batchmode

If you want to customize the game settings when starting, use this command instead:

./RustDedicated -batchmode +server.port 28015 +server.level "Procedural Map" +server.maxplayers 100 +server.hostname "Your Server Name" +server.identity "your_server_identity"

This startup script initiates the Rust server process with parameters such as port, map type, maximum players, server name, and a unique server identity.

After your server starts, monitor the server console for errors or warnings. This is important for troubleshooting Rust server issues during startup. Specifically, pay attention to messages related to server initialization, network connectivity, and script executions.

Additionally, check your running server presence in the client-server list to confirm a successful startup.

You can also test the connectivity to your server using a Rust client from your PC. Enter your VPS’s IP address and port in the format:

connect 123.456.78.90:28015

Remember to replace 123.456.78.90 with your server’s actual IP address.

6. Manage and Maintain the Rust Server

Effective management and maintenance of your private Rust server are crucial for a stable and enjoyable gaming experience. Here are some Rust server management tips for a smooth server operation:

Server Backup and Maintenance

Regularly back up your server files to prevent data loss. Using the best VPS for Rust server hosting, like Hostinger, streamlines the backup process.

With Hostinger, your server is automatically backed up weekly. For more frequent backups, opt for the Upgrade option. To perform a manual backup instead, use Create Snapshot.

Accessing the Snapshots & Backups menu in the VPS dashboard of hPanel

These features are accessible under Backup & Monitoring → Snapshots & Backups in your VPS dashboard.

Rust Server Performance Optimization

Monitoring and optimizing server performance is essential. Utilize Rust-specific tools and plugins to track performance, resource usage, and player activity.

Hostinger customers can use the Server Usage option for insights into CPU usage, RAM usage, disk space, and traffic data, with statistics available for various time frames.

Accessing the Server Usage menu in the VPS dashboard of hPanel

You can also consider using plugins like Battlemetrics or RustAdmin to optimize further and prevent crashes.

Player Management

As the server owner, it’s important to regularly communicate with your player community to address their concerns or feedback. Use server admin commands to adjust map and world settings and PvP/PvE options to ensure engaging and fair gameplay.

Employing users command options is essential to maintain a positive gaming environment based on community feedback and needs. They include users kick <username> to manage player behavior, or users ban <username> for more serious offenses.

Community Building

Foster a positive community by setting clear rules, moderating effectively, and encouraging player interaction. Regular events or challenges can also greatly enhance player engagement.

Furthermore, maintain open lines of communication with your players through forums or chat groups. Implementing player recognition programs or community feedback sessions can also contribute to a vibrant and active gaming community.

Server Wipes and Updates

Regular server wipes help maintain balance and refresh the gameplay experience. Save current settings with server.writecfg before performing wipes and communicating server wipe schedules to your community.

Additionally, ensure your dedicated server is updated with the latest Rust version for enhanced security, improved performance, and new features. Run commands such as update_oxide or app_update 258550 to perform updates.

Batch File Configuration

For more efficient server administration, consider setting up batch script files. These scripts can automate tasks like server startup, updates, and backups. Create these scripts using a text editor and save them in your server directory.

For example, a simple batch script file to start the server might look like:

#!/bin/bash ./RustDedicated -batchmode +server.port 28015 +server.level "Procedural Map" +server.maxplayers 100 +server.hostname "Your Server Name"

A server update batch file could be:

#!/bin/bash steamcmd +login anonymous +force_install_dir ./rust_server +app_update 258550 +quit

For backups, a batch script might be:

#!/bin/bash tar -czvf rust-server-backup.tar.gz /path/to/rust_server/

Make them executable with chmod +x, and run them from the command line as needed.


In this guide, we’ve covered the essential steps on how to make a Rust server, from choosing a robust VPS to its final launch. You are now prepared to manage a Rust private server, optimize its performance, and build a gaming community.

Regular maintenance and updates are crucial for providing an optimal server experience. Whether you’re hosting a private server for friends or a larger audience, the knowledge you’ve gained here will establish a standout gameplay experience.

Now, it’s time to enjoy the unique world you’ve created on your own private server. Happy playing!

The author

Ariffud Muhammad

Ariffud is a Technical Content Writer with an educational background in Informatics. He has extensive expertise in Linux and VPS, authoring over 200 articles on server management and web development. Follow him on LinkedIn.